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Develop power infrastructure with Excess Crude Account – Tukur

By on August 30, 2013

The Chairman of the newly reconstituted supervisory board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Mr. Haman Tukur, on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to use part of the fund in the Excess Crude Account to develop power infrastructure in the country.

Tukur, who is a former Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, wondered why the Federal Government had continued to borrow funds from international financial institutions to develop infrastructure in Nigeria.

He spoke at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja.

He said, “Somehow, the Presidency and even the National Assembly always complain that we have no resources. I was the chairman of the RMAFC for 10 years and I know that Nigeria has resources. Honourable minister (for Power), let me give you one example.

“If every year we fix a budget benchmark for crude oil at $65 to $70, and we sell the oil for $100 and have a difference of say $20. Don’t you know that in other countries, that difference is what they use to develop their infrastructure?

“But I will suggest just $2 from the sale of every barrel daily and it is not going to affect the budget of the federation. Sir, for goodness sake, please take the $2 out of the excess and develop the power sector.

“That is how other nations develop, I am sure you and many experts know this. Use your difference in benchmarking to develop your infrastructure and the development will be seen in a couple of years. Honourable minister, I simply say take the $2.”

Tukur’s reaction was prompted by what the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said while explaining the Federal Government’s determination to provide funds for the TCN by taking billions of dollars as loans from financial institutions.

Nebo had earlier said, “I wish to bring to your attention that the Federal Government has so far secured alternative funding sources for TCN, which include the African Development Bank, French Development Bank, World Bank, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, the Eurobond, and most recently, sellers’ credit from Original Equipment Manufacturers.”

The TCN board chairman also called on the Federal Government to expedite action to improve the country’s power supply situation.

He said it was embarrassing to know that Nigeria was still striving to generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity for over 160 million people.

Tukur said, “It is not going to be easy for the board because the power sector in Nigeria is in a critical state.

“However, I want to tell the minister that it is not right to be generating 4,000MW for Nigeria, which has over 160 million people. We have to move forward and we have to move very quickly, if we can.”

President Goodluck Jonathan had last week approved a new management consisting of Nigerian employees for the TCN.

This, according to the Federal Government, was to reposition the power sector, and in particular, to strengthen the TCN in the performance of its functions.

The new board of the company is made up of 17 members.